Great news: it seems that the United States is getting closer and closer to finally kicking its nasty — and highly deadly — cigarette addiction. As a matter of fact, young people, specifically, seem to be skirting the cancer sticks altogether, with under 5% of 10th-graders using cigarettes daily.
The data is a testament to how far we’ve come as a society in our decision to phase out the habit, but, sadly, it looks as though young, impressionable teens are swapping the cigs for something more modern and just as scary: e-cigarettes.
Recently, we gave you the low-down on how kids are smoking e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” as it is known, right under their parents’ and teachers’ noses. With devices like the Juul — a tiny, nicotine-filled e-cigarette that looks just like a flash drive and emits often-pleasant odors — the signs are becoming harder and harder to detect.
How one young woman’s medical scare proves that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as the traditional ones
When e-cigarettes first hit stores, they were marketed to established smokers— specifically, the ones who were having trouble quitting.
Makers of the products had a lot of positives to say about vaping: that nasty cigarette smell was non-existent and they were tar-free. Having said that, members of the medical community, including the CDC, were not on-board with the smoking alternative.
For one, the products hadn’t been on the market long enough to know whether or not it was, in fact, safer to vape. Sure, they might be tar-free, but most came with a host of other chemicals that were still being inhaled directly into the lungs.
Also, these medical experts were extremely worried that e-cigarettes would have the opposite effect in regards to usership: vaping wouldn’t be a temporary solution to help established smokers quit nicotine, it would be a trendy gateway for young people to start their nicotine addictions.
Turns out the medical community’s worst fears have been realized: more and more teens are vaping AND unforeseen health complications have arisen.
Just this week, a case study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that an 18-year-old teen endured a medical crisis that was caused by vaping, a habit that she had only picked up just 3 weeks prior to her hospitalization.
Doctors say that the unnamed Pennsylvania woman developed hypersensitivity pneumonitis, AKA “wet lung” that was so bad, she had to be intubated and placed on a respiratory machine because she could not breathe on her own. While she was eventually brought back from the edge during an invasive, 5-day medical intervention, the situation could have been deadly if left untreated.
The study goes on to describe several similar cases, including one of a 20-year-old man who fell ill with similar symptoms after vaping for just one day!
Yep, it’s definitely time that we all have a serious talk about vaping with our teens. To learn more about this case and to hear a doctor’s take on the frightening unknowns of vaping, be sure to watch the video below.
What are your thoughts on vaping? Do you think more cases like this will be brought to light? Do you vape?